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Israeli army entered Gaza’s second largest city, 9 people died in school attack

Israeli forces joined ground fighting in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, according to news agency Reuters, as the army stepped up operations in its fight against Hamas while hospitals dealt with an influx of Palestinian dead and injured. The pressure is increasing. informed of. Israel claimed its forces, supported by jets, had entered the center of Khan Yunis and were besieging the town, in what appeared to be the biggest ground offensive in Gaza since a ceasefire with Hamas broke down last week. Is. “We are in the center of Jabaliya, in the center of Shejaiya (in northern Gaza), and now also in the center of Khan Yunis,” Major General Yaron Finkelman, head of the Southern Command, said in an official statement issued by the Israeli military. “The most intense day since the beginning of ground operations.”

He said Israeli troops were also fighting in Jabaliya, a huge urban refugee camp, and Hamas hotspots in northern Gaza near Gaza City and Shujaiya, east of the city.

Hamas’ armed wing, the Al Qassam Brigades, said its members destroyed or damaged 24 Israeli military vehicles and that snipers killed or wounded eight Israeli soldiers in ongoing fighting near Khan Yunis.

Separately, Gaza health officials said several people were killed in Israeli air strikes on settlements in Deir al-Balah, north of Khan Yunis. According to Dr. Iyad Al-Jabri, administrator of Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital there, at least 45 people were murdered. Reuters was unable to reach the scene or confirm the toll.

An attack on Tuesday damaged a school in Khan Yunis, where hundreds of displaced people were sheltering, according to witnesses, the AP reported. Hundreds of injured were rushed to nearby Nasser Hospital, including a small child wearing a blood-stained shirt whose arm was torn off. Women and children were in the mortuary mourning for at least nine victims of the strike. The Israeli military did not respond immediately.

In a brutal new phase of the conflict, Israel increased its shelling on Gaza’s second-largest city on Tuesday, sending ambulances and private automobiles carrying wounded people to a local hospital, the AP reports.

Under pressure from the United States to avoid more mass deaths in fighting with Hamas, Israel claims it is being more precise as it expands its campaign into southern Gaza after destroying much of the north. Is. However, Palestinians claim there is no safe zone, and many worry that if they leave their homes, they will never be allowed to return.

Air bombardment and ground attacks have already displaced three-quarters of the region’s 2.3 million residents, and new orders to evacuate areas near Khan Yunis are pushing people into smaller parts of the already small coastal strip. Have been.

Ambulances rushed hundreds of injured people to Nasir Hospital in Khan Younis, including a small child wearing a bloodied shirt who had his arm blown off.

“What’s happening here is unimaginable,” said Hamza al-Bursh, who lives in Ma’an, one of several neighborhoods in and around Jerusalem where Israel has forced residents to evacuate. “They strike indiscriminately.”

Residents said the army moved towards Bani Suhaila, a community just east of Khan Younis, after coming under heavy bombardment. According to Halima Abdel-Rahman, who fled to the city from her home in the north at the beginning of the conflict, she could hear bombs all night.

“They’re very close,” she said. “This is the same scenario we saw in the north.”

Satellite images taken on Sunday showed about 150 Israeli tanks, armored personnel carriers and other equipment 6 kilometers (4 mi) north of the city centre.

In the early days of the war, Israel ordered a mass evacuation of northern Gaza and banned those who fled from returning. It has ordered the evacuation of about two dozen areas in and around Khan Yunis in the south. This limited the area of ​​central and southern Gaza where residents could seek refuge to more than a quarter.

“There is nowhere safe in Gaza, and there is nowhere left to go,” Lynn Hastings, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said Monday. “The conditions needed to deliver aid to the people of Gaza do not exist. If possible, an even more hellish scenario is about to emerge,” AP quoted him as saying in its report.

Israel claims it must dismantle Hamas’s vast military infrastructure and remove it from power to avoid a repeat of the October 7 strike that sparked the conflict. During the surprise attack on the border barrier, Hamas and other Palestinian militants killed approximately 1,200 individuals, the majority of whom were civilians, and captured approximately 240 men, women, and children.

The army claims it does everything possible to protect people and accuses Hamas of using them as human shields, while the militants are densely populated with a maze of tunnels and bunkers, rocket launchers and sniper nests. Fight in areas.

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